by Stephen Downes
April 10, 2009
Yesterday I got up, packed my bags, wrapped up Thursday's issue of OLDaily, and headed for the airport. I have not slept in the intervening 30 hours. So forgive me please for the odd typo. Also, my Flickr account is mysteriously empty, so if you're seeing errors in the image links, that's why. Flickr staff are (I hope) working on it. So insteda of a beautiful Australian photo, I present you with a topical lolcat. Unknown, Lolcats, April 10, 2009 [Link] [Tags: Flickr, Australia] [Comment]
Some of the participants of last fall's connectivism course, CCK08, have launched a web survey. While I'm not in any way affiliated with this survey or research project, I'm happy to pass along the link. I do hope you'll consider supporting their effort. Note that you'll have to send them email to participate, as they are working without the course email list (which we are not sharing with anyone). Jenny Mackness, Sui Fai John Mak and Roy Williams, Suifaijohnmak's Weblog, April 10, 2009 [Link] [Tags: Connectivism, Research, Project Based Learning] [Comment]
NRC, DND Collaborate On High-Tech Training Tools for Troops
This isn't one of my projects, but colleagues down the hall will be involved in it and will have whatever support and assistance they need from me. I remember talking to Jeremy MacDonald (formerly a Captain, now a Major - congratulations Jeremy) last year about some of this stuff. Helene Fournier is the main research person in our Moncton office on this and has been very quietly been doing very good work on this and related projects for six or seven years now. Press Release, National Research Council, April 10, 2009 [Link] [Tags: Research, Project Based Learning] [Comment]
About OECD StatLink
George Siemens points to this, which I confess I expected to be a pay service (consistently with OECD's previous efforts), but which (so far) appears to be open. The idea is to identify a URL with a certain type of data. The web site explain: "A StatLink, like the DOI on which it is based, is a persistent identifier in that, once registered, it never changes." OK, fine. But what nobody has ever explained, why not just use a URL that never changes, instead of the whole DOI rigmarole? Oh yeah, and this idea of making a URL stand for data? That's what REST does, except it returns the data in a usable format, and not in an Excel spreadsheet.
Website, OECD, April 10, 2009 [Link] [Tags: Connectivism] [Comment]
An Open (Institutional) Learning Network
Christopher Phillips sent along this link. It's a concept worth exploring, though I have to say I would wonder whether people wouldn't find the concept of an open institutional network inherently self-contradictory. It needn't be, of course, but it presupposes not just a certain technological environment but also a radically altered management environment - and that may be the greater hurdle. Jon Mott, The End In Mind, April 10, 2009 [Link] [Tags: Networks] [Comment]
Can Kindle Save Newspapers?
Just thinking out loud - it seems to me that what would save newspapers would be a 'Kindle' without the proprietary data format, stupid restrictions, closed and locked-in content market, and exclusive deals with favoured publishers. Something like an MP3 player for books. Why is it so hard for companies to 'invent' open technologies these days? Do they read no history? Chris Delboni, CyberJournalist.Net, April 10, 2009 [Link] [Tags: Books] [Comment]
Experts Vs. Creativity
Link to and discussion of an article on critical thinking education (unfortunately locked away from normal people by a subscription wall). A sample: "The introduction of high-stakes testing into schooling has played into the agenda of an extreme rightwing government by fostering a mentality in schools of cramming for tests that measure knowledge but not critical thinking about this knowledge." I'm not done with this issue: new technologies call for a new approach to critical thinking, and I would like at some point to lay out the foundations of that. Matthias Melcher, x28's new Blog, April 10, 2009 [Link] [Tags: Assessment, Schools, Tests and Testing, Subscription Services] [Comment]
Attention, Education Shoppers
Good opinion piece in the Globe that questions an approach to education that "invokes the very articles of free-market economic faith that have now flamed out, without seeming to realize it." To wit: "'Competition makes for better schools,' said a Globe and Mail editorial, without a shred of evidence, since there is none." well, true, but I would like to see a writer take on the deeper and more important task of explaining why these unsubstantiated views kep appearing like clockwork in the Globe and other media. Rick Salutin, Globe and Mail, April 10, 2009 [Link] [Tags: Schools] [Comment]
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